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FTC HITS THE BOTTLE: ADS UNDER FIRE

: WASHINGTON – Although the agency refused to comment officially, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating alcohol advertising on television, one government source has confirmed.

The FTC action was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said the commission is looking at hard-alcohol and beer advertising. The FTC, saying only that all investigations conducted by the agency are confidential, is responsible for regulating unfair and deceptive advertising.

Despite the FTC’s reluctance to discuss the issue publicly, Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) applauded the agency for its efforts. “Alcohol beverage companies market their booze directly to kids through advertisements that use sex, fantasy, fast cars, cartoon figures, cute animals and fast music that appeal to children. … This is unfair and deceptive,” Kennedy wrote.

The FTC’s action follows a decision by the alcohol industry to drop its 50-year-old voluntary ban on broadcast advertising.

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